Comedian Bill Bellamy is a huge football and basketball fan. The former MTV veejay is hosting the fifth season of NBC's "Last Comic Standing," which premieres at 9 p.m. Wednesday.
Of the athletes you know, which are funny?
Oh, my God, Shaq. My cousin, Shaq. You've got Damon Jones, who's crazy. Gary Payton. Mitch Richmond, an old-school cat who talks a lot of trash. Believe it or not, Alonzo Mourning.
What stands out to you about those guys and their humor?
It's all about having personality and being quick-witted. These guys are hilarious. I mean, just think about it. They spend a lot of time together, on the road, giving each other a hard time in the locker room or the bus or plane. It's no different than what I did in high school and college, just killin' cats in the cafeteria. [Laughs]
Shaq seems comfortable making fun of himself.
He's just real witty. He doesn't care. He makes fun of himself. He makes fun of me. And the funny thing about it is people look at him as this big dude, but he can do a lot for someone so big. I don't know if you saw the All-Star Game. He was breakdancing and all that. It was hilarious.
Take me back to your [MTV] Rock 'N' Jock days. How fun was playing in those games with the athletes and celebrities?
That was definitely some of the best days of MTV. They don't even do that anymore, which is unfortunate because it was so fun. Not only did we get a chance to meet the players and get to know them, but so did the fans. To get to see them play in another way and hear them talking trash and scoring a 50-point basket, it was hilarious, dude. We were ahead of our time with that Rock 'N' Jock, dude.
There are a lot of teams out there that wish they could pull off that 50-point shot.
Oh, yeah. I remember one game when Gary Payton had 175 points! [Laughs]
Who are you rooting for in the NBA Finals?